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Quilt Fairy

The Newsroom in the Media

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I wanted to report that the TV reviewer in the Chicago Sun-Times today gave a very favorable review to S3. No details, except that the first episode will cover

the Boston Marathon bombing

, but she did say that the final 6 episodes will send the show out well. I'd include a link but I cannot find her comments on-line.

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So what's the story behind HBO bringing this back?

 

They're also bringing back The Comeback on the same night.

 

Did they have some new shows that weren't quite ready to air?

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One criticism of Newsroom, and Sorkin in general, is the smugness uttered by his characters:

 

 

 

This is somewhat disappointing, because even if you weren’t on board with it, The Newsroom doesn’t really warrant an apology. Will McAvoys never say they’re sorry, but that is part of Sorkin’s point: His characters are his more self-confident mouthpieces, and probably the types of people who deliver all the snappy patter Sorkin (and the rest of us) edits into our interactions on the way home from parties. This is what creating a universe that takes place a year and a half or so ago affords writers: the ability to exert control over what has essentially just happened, to know a little more and have just a bit more time to do everything better and more eloquently. Even if it would be more fun to explore the fake headlines of Sorkin’s imagination than to revisit the Boston Marathon bombing (an episode featuring the event is filming in California, and it’s the first time Sorkin hasn’t been on set to oversee something he wrote), we know better than to expect him to get wacky. But when a show’s creator tries to clear up what he sees as a “terrible misunderstanding,” it seems like a perfect example of when to show, not tell.

Following the network assassination of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Amanda Peet issued a postmortem suggesting a possible reason for the show’s demise: “I guess all together we seemed like this arrogant monolith, but individually, none of us felt very arrogant. So it’s kind of curious. Including Aaron [sorkin]. The backlash, the vitriol. If it had been some 30- or 35-year-old new discovery instead of Aaron Sorkin, things might have been different.” Sorkin knows this better than anyone, but somehow it’s still difficult to receive smug dialogue warmly (when it’s not knocking your socks off, that is), just because you know it’s a facade and a stylistic choice. Aaron Sorkin didn’t dent your Mercedes, you just didn’t like his show. Or maybe you did, and now you’re wondering why he thinks you shouldn’t have.

 

The Newsroom has always kind of reminded me of SNL’s Drunk Uncle: a self-assured bloviator whom you at first avoid, then seek out just for a dose of that unique syncopated patter. It’s a different language, but easy to learn and fun to practice.

 

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/aaron-sorkin-on-the-newsroom-i-apologize-and-id-like-to-start-over/

 

People who make this criticism often preface with "I agree with Sorkin's politics but …"

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People in the media love to bash this show. Their bias is so blatant that I don't even bother to read the reviews and recaps anymore. So what if the characters are smug? I'm smug. Everyone who feels justified critiquing anything on the internet is, on some level, smug, so bashing this show for its "smugness" is also pretty smug. You'd think writers would get the irony, but alas. These people aren't smart enough to be characters on an Aaron Sorkin show.

Edited by madam magpie
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Everyone who feels justified critiquing anything on the internet is, on some level, smug,

 

I don't buy that.  One can critique on the basis of analytical thinking without being smug.  Smug means "having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements."  I have worked with many very smart people, including actual (not pretend*) Nobel prize winners in economics, who are more humble than the average Sorkin mouthpiece.  This is what grates.  Sorkin sets his characters up to be "the smartest person in the room" without the humility that truly smart people have of understanding that they can't know everything and always be right.  And then, more often than not, the characters' arrogance is shown as justified because, lo and behold, they were right (as the storyline played out). 

 

*ETA: Making Jed Bartlett a Nobel Prize winner was typical Sorkin overkill.  He couldn't simply have been an economics professor turned politician.  No, Sorkin had to put the sheen of Nobel on him (smart! smart! super-smart!), which was kind of ridiculous. 

Edited by Inquisitionist
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I don't agree. I think on some level most people talking on the internet consider themselves the smartest person in the comments section. The thing is that I don't automatically look down on smug or think arrogance is inherently a bad trait. I think it's possible to be both smug and humble because people are very rarely just one thing. I also think that the smart people on this show are shown to be wrong a lot. They're also shown to be right a lot, which makes sense since they're the heroes.

Edited by madam magpie
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Well, it depends why people talk on the internet. I don't do social media (although I think this can be considered that) but I know activists who do a great deal of things, and get things done, using the internet and social media. Yes, they can be opinionated but their cause (civil rights of minorities) does get moving and they do get results. They aren't smug, they back up their claims with facts and, for various reasons, they prefer the internet for their activism (they are not anonymous either, they use their real names)

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Well, it depends why people talk on the internet. I don't do social media (although I think this can be considered that) but I know activists who do a great deal of things, and get things done, using the internet and social media. Yes, they can be opinionated but their cause (civil rights of minorities) does get moving and they do get results. They aren't smug, they back up their claims with facts and, for various reasons, they prefer the internet for their activism (they are not anonymous either, they use their real names)

Sure. The internet can be an incredible tool. I don't consider that just talking, though. I'd call that using the medium to promote, etc. When I say "talking," I mean all the critiquing and commenting and feeling like we all know better than the experts or people actually doing the creating.

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Sepinwall says this so well.  I've highlighted tidbits only below, please read the whole thing, lots of great Sorkin moments referenced.  Off to rewatch Sports Night. 

 

 

....and most recently "The Newsroom," which has very vocal defenders and detractors, who always seem to be talking past each other in the same uncivil way that the show's characters lament about modern discourse.

 

I plead guilty, Sorkin madness, inexcusable nonetheless.

 

 

The latter flaw [terrible at writing for and about women] was among the more glaring and persistent on "The Newsroom," and culminated in last week's heinous storyline in which producer Don Keefer patronizingly lectured a campus rape survivor about the ethics of accusing men of rape. (Emily Nussbaum, James Poniewozik and Todd VanDerWerff are among the many who wrote eloquently on what a disaster that whole story was.

 

And yet....

 

 

I never know when Bad Sorkin will give way to Good Sorkin....and I don't want to miss the chance to see that happen.

 

I think that is what makes me so mad.  I keep hoping for better and, at the most unfortunate times, Bad Sorkin shows up. Me and Charlie Brown, sigh.

Edited by pennben
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Aaron wrote an op-ed in the NYT about the Sony hack.  He is furious with the media for publishing  the information, which they really haven't other than to describe what information the hackers obtained, ie employees personal info, salaries, etc. But a few sites have published, much to the enjoyment of those of us that follow this stuff, the bitchy emails of Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin.

 

I'm sure this is really what Aaron is pissed about.  Probably mostly because in one of them Amy mentions Aaron is broke, and that she isn't really interested in having him write scripts for a couple movies he's pitching, but she "still wants to be in the Aaron Sorkin business". 

 

Moneyball 2? 

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So, this exactly isn't about The Newsroom in the media, but I wasn't sure that I should create a new thread for just one post, so I'm putting this here. Mods, please excuse me and let me know if it needs to be elsewhere (and where). 

 

But, I just started seeing the British series Black Mirror and the first episode of the series just shows what Sorkin, I think wanted to say about new media, so well. Now I doubly don't know why I wasted the last 3 seasons watching Sorkin's dreck, full of good performances though it may have been. 

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Well, Sorkin knows how to go out memorably, saying female roles have a lesser degree of difficulty, ironically because not enough good female roles supposedly are written. Really, Mr. Writer?

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/12/15/aaron-sorkin-thinks-female-roles-have-a-lesser-degree-of-difficulty/?hootPostID=82d882f869d5fd98502694cc4d1ed996

 

 Someone smarter break it down for me like I am 12. I've been over Sorkin since this show started so I might be biased. Am I reading it wrong? He diminishes award winning performance by females and blame it on lack of script for the gender? He is a writer, how many of his scripts describe what he is admonishing? 

 

I am confused because people in glass houses and all that. Off all the characters he's created, only about 3 females are pointed to as great characterization. In the case of CJ, I am inclined to give more credit to Alison Janney. CJ's first scene was of her falling on her face on a treadmill. It's eerily reminisce of Mac's clumsiness. AJ was able to make the character work despite what could have easily ended up being a Mac or Mandy character.

 

Sorkin went on to argue that “the guy who wins the Oscar for Best Actor has a much higher bar to clear than the woman who wins Best Actress,” comparing, for example, Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance in Lincoln to Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook, saying Lawrence “did what a professional actress is supposed to be able to do” in that film. (Sorkin called out The Daily Beast’s report from the Sony hack that Lawrence was paid less than her male costars in American Hustle in his column against reporting on the leaked information.)  “Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep can play with the boys but there just aren’t that many tour-de-force roles out there for women,” he wrote.

 

 

He didn't have sound so dismissive of the female performances as compared to the males.  His argument is ironic because while he complains about the lack of good scripts for female leads, he doesn't seem to think actresses can measure up to actors. DLL and JL are incomparable based on age and experience. He should have used an older, more experienced actress. 

 

Jennifer Lawrence gave a good performance but it is what any professional actress would do ....  meaning what exactly? She didn't deserve the award but there wasn't enough competition in the field?

 

High praise for Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, they are on par with the boys.

Edited by Deputy Deputy CoS

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By the by, I notice Jeff Daniels got himself into the final musical numbers for both Colbert and Craig Ferguson this week.  Way to get around!

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they are on par with the boys.

Yeah, because that's what every woman should aspire to. You know, the boys are soooooo much better, wise, awesome than those mediocre women.

Fuck Sorkin.

 

 

By the by, I notice Jeff Daniels got himself into the final musical numbers for both Colbert and Craig Ferguson this week.  Way to get around!

Well, he is a musician. I believe he enjoys singing much more than acting

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Not sure if this is the place for it, but Season 3 DVDs are shipping, mine are on the way from Amazon.  I don't have HBO, so I only saw a few episodes of the first couple of seasons when they originally aired when my cable company had a free weekend.  I bought Season 1 & 2 last fall, and spent four long nights watching them all - coffee was my best friend at work that week!  Can't wait for these to arrive - I have the coffee pot on standby!

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In a recent interview director Quentin Tarantino declares his love for  "The Newsroom":

 

Now, the HBO show I loved was Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. That was the only show that I literally watched three times. I would watch it at seven o’clock on Sunday, when the new one would come on. Then after it was over, I’d watch it all over again. Then I would usually end up watching it once during the week, just so I could listen to the dialogue one more time.

 

I think people will be surprised to hear that. The Newsroom’s reviews were all over the place. Sorkin even apologized for some of it.

 

Who the fuck reads TV reviews? Jesus fucking Christ. TV critics review the pilot. Pilots of shows suck. Why would it be surprising that I like the best dialogue writer in the business?

 

 

Edited by VCRTracking
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Jeff Daniels is James Lipton's guest on tonight's Inside the Actors' Studio running on Bravo from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tv/inside-the-actors-studio-jeff-daniels/EP001367710310?aid=tvschedule
 

 

Actor Jeff Daniels discusses his Emmy-winning role in ``The Newsroom'' as well as his role in the play, ``Blackbird,'' and his movie roles, including ``Steve Jobs,'' ``Terms of Endearment,'' ``The Purple Rose of Cairo,'' and many others.

 

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